Clinical and Assessment Courses

Introduction to Psychological Assessment: Cognition and Information Processing (540). This course introduces current approaches to identifying the educational needs of children and adolescents through psychological assessment. The major topics include: theoretical conceptualizations of intelligence and learning disabilities/differences within a developmental framework, psychometric concepts as they apply directly to the assessment process, and the use of norm-referenced measures of cognition and information processing in concert with observations, clinical interviews, and other qualitative information about the strengths and needs of students. Additional topics include issues of culture in assessment, differential validity of standardized tests, the role of Dynamic assessment approaches, and multiple perspectives on current classification systems. Assignments entail practice in the administration, scoring, interpretation, and integration of selected cognitive and information processing measures, as well as the communication of findings and their implications.


Psychoeducational and Social/Emotional Assessment (541). This course serves as a continuation of Psych 540 (above) with emphasis on the assessment of academic skill development, social/emotional functioning, and behavioral functioning with the purpose of aiding in the development of appropriate remedial strategies and clinical recommendations. This course will include an overview of the reading process, and the acquisition of math and writing skills. Students will be introduced to standardized measures of academic assessment as well as informal, curriculum-based, and response to interventions methods of assessment of learning disabilities/differences. Students will also be exposed to a variety of diagnostic and assessment tools utilized for the assessment of social/emotional and behavioral issues including rating scales, observations, interviews, questionnaires, and projective measures. This course will also introduce the students to current approaches in the assessment and/or diagnosis of several specific disorders including Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. Interpretation and integration of information will be emphasized throughout.


Introduction to Psychotherapy (561). This course provides an introduction to the principles and practice of individual psychotherapy with an emphasis on working with children and adolescents. Students are encouraged to think critically about the nature and process of psychotherapy and to apply creatively their knowledge and skills to the task of helping those in need. Emphasis is placed on formulating therapeutic goals and conceptualizing therapeutic change. The course provides an overview of dominant conceptualizations of therapy, including psychodynamic and cognitive/behavioral approaches and of the psychotherapy research literature. Therapeutic techniques and challenges in work with children and adolescents are presented. Concurrent with the course, students have an introductory therapy experience in a school or clinic in which they conduct psychotherapy with one or two clients and receive supervision.


Family Therapy (660). This course introduces students to the theoretical and practical foundations of treating couples and families from a systems perspective. Treatment issues are covered through the use of videotapes, didactic presentations, role plays, and student presentations. In conjunction with the weekly one-semester course, students can elect to participate in a one-morning per week family therapy supervision group at CSI. While enrolled in this course, and in the subsequent semester, students engage in a psychotherapy practicum in a clinic, school, pupil service agency, or other approved setting arranged by the department.


Consultation and Practice Issues in School Psychology (642). The third and final course in the CDPP psychological assessment sequence, this course prepares students for the professional practice of clinical developmental and school psychology. The course deals with models of special education; consultation approaches in school psychology; categories of exceptionality; multicultural issues in the delivery of school psychology services; principles of educational psychology; the structure and organization of schools; and assessment of preschoolers. The class includes a weekly “Diagnostic and Personality Assessment Lab” While taking this course, and continuing through the second semester, each student works in an assessment practicum in a school, clinic, or pupil service agency. This course includes a weekly lab in which students and instructors discuss ongoing cases and consider such clinical issues as test selection, scoring, report writing, working with parents, consultation, and programming recommendations. Beginning with the entering class in the 2011-2012 academic year, this course will no longer be offered.